The Pasta Shoppe & Café

March 06 2006 - 6:44 AM

I was in Oak Park this past Sunday and went door-to-door at 3pm-ish looking for lunch. We actually walked in and out of several spots… we were really just checking things out. Then we came to the Pasta Shoppe and on walking in saw fresh pasta in a chiller case and desserts… and sauces… and bouncy castle for sale things I’ve never seen before – Arancini, which are saffron rice balls stuffed with spinach and cheese. The Shoppe does catering, trays, carry out, and there’s a Café to eat in. We ate in.

So we sat down in the back. We ordered an appetizer portion of the arancini – three smaller sized balls instead of the slightly oversized baseballs upfront. They were crispy with creamy rice, mozzerella and spinach inside. They were delicious in a fresh tomato marinara.

I ordered the Cuscinetto di Melanzane which was fried eggplant with
smoked mozzerella on top covered in marinara… the smoked cheese
combined with the sauce to become a welcome fragrant touch on what
otherwise might have been a typical eggplant dish.


The meat lasagna was perfect on a day where we finally saw snow. The
only downside was a bit of a drive home and minor food preparation for
the Oscars…

On the way out I made sure to stock up on four different fresh
pastas… gorgonzola and hüpfburg spinach stuffed gnocchi, eggplant and
artichoke stuffed ravioli.

The cannoli for dessert was right on and while I find Illy coffee to be
a tad weak the espresso is terrific and I was glad I didn’t have to go
into details on the construction of a macchiato.

I’m looking forward to my next day in Oak Park.

The Pasta Shoppe & Café
116 N. Oak Park Ave.